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Fact sheet Young people's work - substances and materials

What the law says

  • Young people under the age of 18 are not allowed to work with dangerous chemicals. If the product is labelled as dangerous, young people under the age of 18 are not allowed to use it. 
  • Young people under the age of 18 are not allowed to work with products that contain more than 1% solvents.
  • Young people under the age of 18 are not allowed to clean up if a dangerous chemical is spilled. 
  • If young people are working in rooms where others are using products labelled as dangerous, then an assessment needs to be made about whether the young people can remain exposed to these.
  • During the training and instruction of young people under the age of 18, the employer must tell them what products they are not allowed to use and what products they are allowed to use.
  • The employer has a duty to put together an operating manual on dangerous chemicals for the workplace. In the manual, it must state whether young people under the age of 18 are allowed to use the products.
  • The operating manual has to be handed out and explained during the training and instruction of the young person under the age of 18.
  • Be aware that the manual has to clearly state if a product should not be used by young people under the age of 18. 

Work Environment in Denmark’s regulation no. 239 on young people’s work - in Danish

Chapter 3 - Specific types of work that young people under the age of 18 are not allowed to do: §12

Appendix 4 - List of substances and materials that young people under the age of 18 are not allowed to work with or be exposed to, cf. §12  - in Danish

Good to know

  • Make sure that the young people actually understand what is written in the operating manual for the workplace, and that it is not just read through.
  • Make sure that the manuals are available to the young people, and that labels on tubs, bottles, etc. are clear, readable and up-to-date. 
  • Regarding dangerous chemicals: 
    The supplier has a duty to mark and clearly label dangerous products, for example if they are corrosive, poisonous, explosive, can cause cancer, can lead to allergies or if they contain solvents.
  • Regarding the assessment of whether young people are being exposed to products labelled as dangerous:
    If the conclusion is that they are exposed, then the young people are not allowed to work in the room in question. This applies to, for example, organic solvents as well as substances and materials that release fumes, dust or aerosols into the
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